A fast-paced fun-filled ethics podcast for kids and their parents that asks those curly questions. From banning lollies to trusting robots, and from colonising other planets to eating pets, Short & Curly covers it all.
Short & Curly listeners Harry, Max and Hugo live on farm surrounded by all kinds of animals: pets, livestock, and also pests like feral pigs. Some animals they love, some animals they hate, and some are just another member of the herd. Why do we value some animals differently from others? Come with us as we get a tour of their farm. And a warning, this episode deals with the death of animals.
Would you like to live forever? Molly and Carl like the idea of being immortal. The upsides: you won’t ever die, you’ll never run out of time to try new things and meet new people. The downsides: drinking blood and sleeping in a coffin, and your non-vampire friends will all leave you when they die. So, would immortality be worth it? And how can you make a decision about something so hugely different from any experience you’ve ever had before?
Why do some kids get all the luck? It doesn’t seem fair that some children are born into families with lots of love and support while others don't get any, or don’t have a family at all. The philosopher Plato had a pretty wild idea for how to fix this unfairness — get rid of families! He said if we did that, people would care more about all children, not just their own. What do you think? Would the world be a better and fairer place if we brought up children in a different way?
Do you have a teddy, a doll or a rug that is, or was, very important to you? We are told that as we grow up we need to get rid of ‘babyish’ things like that, but do we really? And if we lose out teddy or give it away, is it alright to feel sad about it? We hear about teddies and other things which were important to Molly, Carl and Matt and find out who kept theirs and why.
One of the best places to be on a hot summer's day is cooling off in a swimming pool. But until the 1960s Aboriginal people were not allowed to swim in the local pool in Moree, in country New South Wales. They were excluded because of a reason that had nothing to do with the ability to swim. They were excluded only because they were Aboriginal. So what is discrimination and what makes it bad?
Carl is excited because he saw a UFO last night. He can't believe it! (And neither can Molly, but for different reasons). But should we believe Carl and if not, why not? How do we decide if something is true or not? What sort of evidence do we need?
Molly, Carl and Matt become lost at sea, they've run out of food and they lack basic survival skills. So, would it be okay for them to eat each other if they get really really really hungry? Maybe don't listen to this episode while you're eating!
"Do as I say, not as I do!" Does this sound like the adults in your life? Short & Curly listeners often complain that their parents tell them to do one thing but then do something completely different themselves. So unfair! Or is it?
Here's a question from Short & Curly listener Harvey: "Is it OK to hang out with your friends if they're being mean to other people?" Difficult, right? Have you been in a tricky situation like this? What's the best thing to do and why?
Molly has never been afraid of getting a needle because she knows the Needle Ninja will reward her bravery with a basket of Japanese lollies, cakes and toys. Carl has never heard of this person and thinks Molly has been tricked by her mum and dad. But is there any harm in believing in the Needle Ninja? And is it OK for parents to tell their kids stories if it makes them feel better?
Carl often gets lost when he's out on the streets alone. So the S&C team have decided a tracking device will keep him safe and sound. But is this a good idea? How do we balance safety with the need to become independent? And would you be okay with an adult putting a tracking device on you?
Your second favourite podcast, Fierce Girls, has some amazing new stories to tell you. Even better, each story is written and narrated by the show’s super cool and fierce listeners! The stories about incredible Australian women have really inspired Molly, as you'll hear. And make sure you listen to the end — we’ve got some exciting Short & Curly news to share with you too!
The death of Tai’s grandfather gets him thinking about the afterlife. The idea that our bodies and consciousness become nothing is really weird and confusing. So Tai turns to different religions for answers. This podcast called Tai Asks Why comes from our friends in Canada at the CBC. Hope you like it!
How much stuff do you have? How many toys, books, games and clothes have you got that you don't use or wear? Is it time to re-think why we give and receive birthday presents? Let's drop in to Molly's birthday party and find out.
Brains Trust: Buranda State School — Luca, Huon, Freya, Serefie, Noya and Ava.
Actors: Neve and Tessa.
The Titanic cruise ship hit an iceberg in 1912 and sank to the bottom of the ocean. Lots of people died because there weren't enough life rafts for everyone. Women and children were offered seats on the lifeboats first because of their age and gender. But is that fair? Are the lives of kids more precious than the lives of adults?
Guest: David Dyer, author of The Midnight Watch.
Brains Trust: Buranda State School — Meena, Caitlin, Banjo, Rosey, Hailey and Rex.
Severus Snape is one of the trickier characters in the Harry Potter series. As a teacher he can be mean and impatient and unfriendly and sarcastic. But Snape might also be able to teach us a lot about growing up and courage and forgiveness. Listen and decide for yourself.
Guest: Lorrie Kim, author of Snape: A Definitive Reading.
Brains Trust: Buranda State School — Meena, Caitlin, Banjo, Rosey, Hailey and Rex.
Actors: Zali, Ngaio, Joel, Adam, Hannah and Jarvis.
To be good at sport you need both physical skills and mental strength. So is it okay to tease and sledge your sporting opponents to get an advantage? Join Molly and Carl for a game of backyard cricket.
Brains trust: Cricketers Haadia Khan, Lucy Johnston, Grace Bryson-Smith and Sienna Moore.
Actors: Zali, Ngaio, Joel, Adam, Hannah and Jarvis
Test your buzzers, put your Short and Curly thinking caps on and get ready for round one. Molly, Carl and Matt tackle some of the many questions you've emailed us, on the game show that's got everyone talking: Answer The Question!
Actors: Zali, Ngaio, Joel, Adam, Hannah and Jarvis.
Short & Curly’s favourite philosopher Matt Beard has teamed up with the show’s boss Kyla Slaven (AKA Mistress Kyla) to write a book for members of the global Short & Curly gang: that’s you! With a whole lot of new curly questions to ask, we venture into the homes, school yards, and lives of kids today. It’s packed with weird and amazing ideas and adventures. Here’s how to get your hands on the book: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/the-short-and-curly-guide-to-life-9780143792185
Carl thinks he's pretty good at spotting when someone is telling a lie. But is he? We think one of the reasons Carl is enjoying the podcast, Pants on Fire, is because it allows him to test out his lie detection skills. Pants on Fire is a quiz show with a difference, with each episode focusing on something interesting like robots, or bats or dancing or mobile devices. One of the grown up "experts" on each show is telling you lies and so you and a young guest need to work out who is fibbing and who isn't. Have a listen to Pants on Fire see what you think.
Matt was so excited when he bought two pet fish and named them Bucket and Spade. It wasn't long though before one of those fish got sick. Very sick. The pet shop said he needed special chemicals for the water, so he spent a lot of money to make things better. Sadly, things didn’t improve for Bucket. Or was it Spade? Anyway, did Matt do the right thing for his fish? And is a fish’s life as important as other types of pets?
Some kids really want to get their ears pierced but their parents won’t let them. So, who should get to decide when and how you’re allowed to decorate your body with a piercing or even a tattoo? We get out the piercing gun and the tattoo ink and find out how much control we should have over our own bodies.
School uniforms have been around for hundreds of years but what’s the point of them? Do they kill your individuality, or do they help you focus on learning, without all the worries about fashion and how you dress? We hear from children who wear uniforms and children who don’t.
Molly Daniels thinks she has what it takes to be a superstar pop singer. The only trouble is, she’s out of tune and can’t hit the notes properly! Eek. But wait, there’s a program many musicians use which "fixes" their voice. Is it wrong to use technology to make you sound better than you are?
We’ve got exciting news for you — Short & Curly is coming back soon! Molly, Carl and Matt haven’t just been lazing around at the beach eating lollies, they’ve been super busy making you brand new episodes. And they’re awesome! Hit play for a sneak peek. And tell your friends to subscribe now, so you can all hear the new shows as soon as they come out.
Your pals at Short & Curly have something very special for you: a preview of the new ABC podcast Fierce Girls! It’s a show about the brave, adventurous, and mighty girls and women of the world — including our very own Molly Daniels. Who is a girl. And is always brave and mighty. Anyway, go check it out!
An out-of-control train is heading straight for a group of people who don’t know they are about to be hit. You, as the driver, have some life and death decisions to make. What will you do? Hop on for a journey into one of the world’s most famous thought experiments.
Australia is on the war path, pledging to kill two million feral cats by 2020. They felines are biologically the same creatures as the kitties people have as pets at home, but most were born in the wild.
Lollies are a colourful and magical and very sweet part of many children’s lives. But can you say no when faced with a bowl of jelly beans or sour worms or other types of candy? With so much concern nowadays about the amount of sugar in our diets, this show looks at self control and what we should do if people don’t have any.
Walked into any traffic lights lately as you stare manically at a screen? Maybe you’re one of the millions of people playing Pokemon Go, the augmented reality game which sends its players out into the streets to catch weird little imaginary creatures. Is it an annoying disruption of public spaces? And, because it’s cleverly designed so you never want to stop playing, we ask: Are you playing the game or is the game playing you?
Images of movie stars and pop singers are everywhere we look – album covers, concert posters, t-shirts, Instagram feeds and other social media. Photos and videos are a big part of how famous people present themselves. But, how honest and accurate are they? Do they look anything like they do in real life… and should they? When do small changes to an image turn it into a lie? And does it even matter?
For professional fire and rescue workers, it’s not all sirens, cool trucks and running red lights. They often have to make really hard and terrible decisions in moments of heat, smoke and danger. Their job is to be there to help on the worst day of your life. So, if you were a firefighter, who would you save first?
We’re often told we have a special responsibility to our brothers and sisters just because they are family. But, do we really? And what kind of duty is it? What if you found out the annoying new kid at school was your long lost brother or sister? Would you feel any differently about them? And, if you really didn’t like them, is it somehow worse to kill a sibling than to kill anyone else? Yep, some murderously tricky questions!
Unless you’re a vegetarian, there are some animals you probably eat regularly. But how would you cope if your next dinner was some stir-fried dog? Why is it okay to eat a baby cow (veal) or sheep (lamb) and not a cute little puppy? Are our ideas about eating animals a bit of a mess? And does this matter?
He is wise and old and learned and kind, but the Principal of Hogwarts is not perfect. He deceives, he holds back really important information about issues of life and death, and is willing to sacrifice Harry Potter for the good of the many, leading him (as Professor Snape says) “like a pig to slaughter”. So, is Dumbledore an ethical person? How flawed are we allowed to be and still be counted as “good”?
There are 1,000 people currently shortlisted for the trip of a lifetime, from which they will never return! They want to be the first stage in the human habitation of the red planet. But do humans have a right to inhabit other planets, and which humans specifically? Would colonizing Mars be a chance to create a better world from scratch, or will it become an environmental and ethical nightmare? Would you want to go?
Kind lies. White lies. Little lies. We take a trip to the fun park to look at all sorts of lies we tell for all sorts of reasons. Like what if your parent asks you to pretend to be younger than you are to get a cheaper entry fee? What’s the right thing to do? Amidst the rides and games, junk food and excitement, we explore a few stories about lying, a subject which has divided some of the greatest thinkers in history.
In the 1950s, a group of young boys took part in a now famous experiment to find out how easy it would be to turn two groups of children into enemies. The boys didn’t know they were in a scientific study, and many later regretted the things they did to each other. Is the knowledge we might get from such an experiment worth the pain it might cause to get it?